Diversity in Software Engineering
With such a large percentage of our population in the USA being women (50.8%), African American (13.2%), and Latino Americans (17%. Actually this includes Hispanic Americans as well), why are such a small percentage of us Software Engineers from minority backgrounds?! I would have to imagine other minorities are in the same boat.
As a Software Engineer and Manager, I am excited about the potential to make a difference in the demographics of our Software Engineering industry! I would love a rich and diverse team for several reasons. A diverse group will be more interesting to work with, providing an opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures. Diversity can also bring different ways of thinking about things, possibly encouraging innovation. I also strongly think it is important for society to give minorities the opportunity to be part of all parts of society. This means the Software Engineering industry has a lot of diversifying to do!
But because we cannot hire someone based on race or ethnicity, we need to instead encourage diversification in less direct ways. The most discussed method is to diversify your candidate pipeline: by seeing more diverse candidates, you increase the possibility that your qualified candidate will be of a diverse background.
I’ve been working hard to do just this. I’ve posted in MeetUp groups and am planning on going to some MeetUp meetings. I was very surprised, though, to not find any Latino Software Engineering groups in LinkedIn.
So I created one. Latino Coders. Through this group, I hope to connect Latino Software Engineeres, Web Developers, etc with technology companies trying to diversify their workforce. If you are a Latino and a Software Engineer, please check it out and join. If you know any Latino Coders, please share with them.
Its time for us Latinos to meet our potential!
(I am a Costa Rican American married to a Salvadoran. I did Peace Corps in El Salvador for 3 years, and lived in Costa Rica for 3 years, where I was a Software Engineer at NavSat)